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Breast Reconstruction Safe For Elderly After Mastectomy

Breast Reconstruction Safe For Elderly After Mastectomy

Breast construction is found to be safe procedure for the elderly following a mastectomy…

A new study has shown that breast reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy is a safe and well-tolerated procedure for the elderly.

A mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast, and is often the procedure of choice for younger women who’ve been struck down with breast cancer.

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Breast reconstruction After Mastectomy Safe For Elderly

Dr. Marissa Howard-McNatt, an assistant professor of surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, S.C., said in a center news release.

“The removal of a breast has implications for the psychological, social and sexual well-being of the patient, establishing the need that reconstruction should be offered…

“However, little is known about rates of reconstruction in elderly women after breast cancer.”

This led her and her colleagues to review cases of 89 women over the age of 60 who underwent mastectomy and breast reconstruction in the last 10 years.

The results showed that breast reconstruction is a safe and feasible procedure for older women, even though they are less likely to choose this option, the researchers claimed. Howard-McNatt explained:

“Generally, breast cancer in the elderly is less aggressive than in younger patients. Life expectancy can still be substantial — 16 years for a 70-year-old and greater than six years for an otherwise healthy 80-year-old…

“More patients are candidates for aggressive breast cancer therapy. The safety of reconstruction, as well as increased life expectancy and healthier lifestyles, makes breast reconstruction desirable at any age.”

She added that number of American women older than 65 is expected to double by 2050.

The study was published in the December issue of The American Surgeon.

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  1. Robert Preidt: After Mastectomy, Breast Reconstruction Is Safe for Older Women. MSN Health, 12/12/2011.

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